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People are crazy, edition three: Meet the Americans!
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Marik



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 1234

PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 1:34 am    Post subject: People are crazy, edition three: Meet the Americans! Reply with quote

PART THE FIRST: One in two Americans believe that the Iraqi WMD stockpiles existed.

Quote:
Half of U.S. Still Believes Iraq Had WMD

Half of America Still Believes It: Why the Enduring Faith in 'Saddam's WMDs'?


By CHARLES J. HANLEY AP Special Correspondent

Aug 6, 2006 (AP) Do you believe in Iraqi "WMD"?

Did Saddam Hussein's government have weapons of mass destruction in 2003?

Half of America apparently still thinks so, a new poll finds, and experts see a raft of reasons why: a drumbeat of voices from talk radio to die-hard bloggers to the Oval Office, a surprise headline here or there, a rallying around a partisan flag, and a growing need for people, in their own minds, to justify the war in Iraq.

People tend to become "independent of reality" in these circumstances, says opinion analyst Steven Kull.

The reality in this case is that after a 16-month, $900-million-plus investigation, the U.S. weapons hunters known as the Iraq Survey Group declared that Iraq had dismantled its chemical, biological and nuclear arms programs in 1991 under U.N. oversight. That finding in 2004 reaffirmed the work of U.N. inspectors who in 2002-03 found no trace of banned arsenals in Iraq.

Despite this, a Harris Poll released July 21 found that a full 50 percent of U.S. respondents up from 36 percent last year said they believe Iraq did have the forbidden arms when U.S. troops invaded in March 2003, an attack whose stated purpose was elimination of supposed WMD. Other polls also have found an enduring American faith in the WMD story.

"I'm flabbergasted," said Michael Massing, a media critic whose writings dissected the largely unquestioning U.S. news reporting on the Bush administration's shaky WMD claims in 2002-03.

"This finding just has to cause despair among those of us who hope for an informed public able to draw reasonable conclusions based on evidence," Massing said.

Timing may explain some of the poll result. Two weeks before the survey, two Republican lawmakers, Pennsylvania's Sen. Rick Santorum and Michigan's Rep. Peter Hoekstra, released an intelligence report in Washington saying 500 chemical munitions had been collected in Iraq since the 2003 invasion.

"I think the Harris Poll was measuring people's surprise at hearing this after being told for so long there were no WMD in the country," said Hoekstra spokesman Jamal Ware.

But the Pentagon and outside experts stressed that these abandoned shells, many found in ones and twos, were 15 years old or more, their chemical contents were degraded, and they were unusable as artillery ordnance. Since the 1990s, such "orphan" munitions, from among 160,000 made by Iraq and destroyed, have turned up on old battlefields and elsewhere in Iraq, ex-inspectors say. In other words, this was no surprise.

"These are not stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction," said Scott Ritter, the ex-Marine who was a U.N. inspector in the 1990s. "They weren't deliberately withheld from inspectors by the Iraqis."

Conservative commentator Deroy Murdock, who trumpeted Hoekstra's announcement in his syndicated column, complained in an interview that the press "didn't give the story the play it deserved." But in some quarters it was headlined.

"Our top story tonight, the nation abuzz today " was how Fox News led its report on the old, stray shells. Talk-radio hosts and their callers seized on it. Feedback to blogs grew intense. "Americans are waking up from a distorted reality," read one posting.

Other claims about supposed WMD had preceded this, especially speculation since 2003 that Iraq had secretly shipped WMD abroad. A former Iraqi general's book at best uncorroborated hearsay claimed "56 flights" by jetliners had borne such material to Syria.

But Kull, Massing and others see an influence on opinion that's more sustained than the odd headline.

"I think the Santorum-Hoekstra thing is the latest 'factoid,' but the basic dynamic is the insistent repetition by the Bush administration of the original argument," said John Prados, author of the 2004 book "Hoodwinked: The Documents That Reveal How Bush Sold Us a War."

Administration statements still describe Saddam's Iraq as a threat. Despite the official findings, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has allowed only that "perhaps" WMD weren't in Iraq. And Bush himself, since 2003, has repeatedly insisted on one plainly false point: that Saddam rebuffed the U.N. inspectors in 2002, that "he wouldn't let them in," as he said in 2003, and "he chose to deny inspectors," as he said this March.

The facts are that Iraq after a four-year hiatus in cooperating with inspections acceded to the U.N. Security Council's demand and allowed scores of experts to conduct more than 700 inspections of potential weapons sites from Nov. 27, 2002, to March 16, 2003. The inspectors said they could wrap up their work within months. Instead, the U.S. invasion aborted that work.

As recently as May 27, Bush told West Point graduates, "When the United Nations Security Council gave him one final chance to disclose and disarm, or face serious consequences, he refused to take that final opportunity."

"Which isn't true," observed Kathleen Hall Jamieson, a scholar of presidential rhetoric at the University of Pennsylvania. But "it doesn't surprise me when presidents reconstruct reality to make their policies defensible." This president may even have convinced himself it's true, she said.

Americans have heard it. A poll by Kull's WorldPublicOpinion.org found that seven in 10 Americans perceive the administration as still saying Iraq had a WMD program. Combine that rhetoric with simplistic headlines about WMD "finds," and people "assume the issue is still in play," Kull said.

"For some it almost becomes independent of reality and becomes very partisan." The WMD believers are heavily Republican, polls show.

Beyond partisanship, however, people may also feel a need to believe in WMD, the analysts say.

"As perception grows of worsening conditions in Iraq, it may be that Americans are just hoping for more of a solid basis for being in Iraq to begin with," said the Harris Poll's David Krane.

Charles Duelfer, the lead U.S. inspector who announced the negative WMD findings two years ago, has watched uncertainly as TV sound bites, bloggers and politicians try to chip away at "the best factual account," his group's densely detailed, 1,000-page final report.

"It is easy to see what is accepted as truth rapidly morph from one representation to another," he said in an e-mail. "It would be a shame if one effect of the power of the Internet was to undermine any commonly agreed set of facts."

The creative "morphing" goes on.

As Israeli troops and Hezbollah guerrillas battled in Lebanon on July 21, a Fox News segment suggested, with no evidence, yet another destination for the supposed doomsday arms.

"ARE SADDAM HUSSEIN'S WMDS NOW IN HEZBOLLAH'S HANDS?" asked the headline, lingering for long minutes on TV screens in a million American homes.


As a bonus: last portion actually kind of made me a little bit mad at Fox News even though picking on them has gotten quite cliche over the last few years -- it was just enough to get me to tutter at their classlessness. What a shameless philandering hussy of a news network!

PART THE SECOND: One in three Americans think that 9/11 wuz an INSIDE JOB

Quote:
Poll: Third of U.S. trust 9-11 conspiracy

Hatred of government seems to fuel belief that attacks were 'inside job' to cause Mideast war.


Thomas Hargrove and Guido H. Stempel III / Scripps Howard News Service


More than a third of the American public suspects that federal officials assisted in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks or took no action to stop them so the United States could go to war in the Middle East, according to a Scripps Howard/Ohio University poll.

The national survey of 1,010 adults also found that anger against the federal government is at record levels, with 54 percent saying they "personally are more angry" at the government than they used to be.

Widespread resentment and alienation toward the national government appears to be fueling a growing acceptance of conspiracy theories about the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Suspicions that the Sept. 11 attacks were "an inside job" -- the common phrase used by conspiracy theorists on the Internet -- quickly have become nearly as popular as decades-old conspiracy theories that the federal government was responsible for President Kennedy's assassination and that it has covered up proof of space aliens.

Seventy percent of people who give credence to these theories also say they've become angrier with the federal government than they used to be.

Some see desire for war

Thirty-six percent of respondents overall said it is "very likely" or "somewhat likely" that federal officials either participated in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon or took no action to stop them "because they wanted the United States to go to war in the Middle East."

"One out of three sounds high, but that may very well be right," said Lee Hamilton, former vice chairman of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (also called the 9-11 commission.) His congressionally appointed investigation concluded that federal officials bungled their attempts to prevent, but did not participate in, the attacks by al Qaida.

"A lot of people I've encountered believe the U.S. government was involved," Hamilton said. "Many say the government planned the whole thing. Of course, we don't think the evidence leads that way at all."

16% doubt tower collapse

The poll also found that 16 percent of Americans speculate that secretly planted explosives, not burning passenger jets, were the reason the towers of the World Trade Center collapsed.

Conspiracy groups for at least two years have also questioned why the World Trade Center collapsed when fires that heavily damaged similar skyscrapers around the world did not cause such destruction. Sixteen percent said it's "very likely" or "somewhat likely" that "the collapse of the Twin Towers in New York was aided by explosives secretly planted in the two buildings."

Twelve percent suspect the Pentagon was struck by a cruise missile in 2001 rather than by an airliner captured by terrorists.

Expert explains fears

University of Florida law professor Mark Fenster, author of the book "Conspiracy Theories: Secrecy and Power in American Culture," said the poll's findings reflect public anger at the unpopular Iraq war, realization that Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction and growing doubts of the veracity of the Bush administration.

"What has amazed me is not that there are conspiracy theories, but that they didn't seem to be getting any purchase among the American public until the last year or so," he said. "Although the Iraq war was not directly related to the 9-11 attacks, people are now looking back at 9-11 with much more skepticism than they used to."


Yew go 'ter war wit da brains yew have, not 'ter brains yew want
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HamletSr



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 1:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

your just a ray of sunshine in my day, little articles. and my sunshine i mean crushing despair. thanks sam.
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mouse



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 1:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The national survey of 1,010 adults also found that anger against the federal government is at record levels, with 54 percent saying they "personally are more angry" at the government than they used to be.


and no sample size on the first story - but if it's like most 'national' polls (like the ones on the elections), it's around 3000 people

current us census figure: 299,419,044
222,940,420 adults (18+)

so i'm feeling like those surveys are being stretched pretty thin.

and in recent years, it is getting very difficult to get people to agree to even answer surveys. we do a survey of the california population - 10 years ago, we got a response rate of over 70%. last year, it was just barely 30%.

so you have to ask yourself, who is answering the surveys? and how are those surveys weighted, to account for all the people who _don't_ answer them?

i have a sneaking suspicion (alright, a deep down ferverent hope) that these people are not totally completely perfectly representative of the 222,940, 420 american adults out there.

....although it would be interesting to see what percentage of people who believe saddam had wmds also believe it was really the government that blew up the twin towers.....
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HamletSr



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

so, the vocal (crazy) minority? i remember last time this sort of thing came up, sam was a vocal believer in the phoney-poll as a valid tool, for what seemed like good reasons, but yeah, I don't think i have ever answered one.
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Major Tom



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 2:15 am    Post subject: Re: People are crazy, edition three: Meet the Americans! Reply with quote

Marik wrote:
Quote:
More than a third of the American public suspects that federal officials assisted in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks or took no action to stop them so the United States could go to war in the Middle East, according to a Scripps Howard/Ohio University poll.


this harkens back to the supposed bush-to-rice comments regarding needing a "new Pearl harbor". been around since day 1, in that sense.

i can say that the bush administration's godshead domestic policy doesn't go out of its way to disappoint the notion.
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Marik



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 2:17 am    Post subject: so basically a fairly reliable sampling method says we r dum Reply with quote

Quote:
so i'm feeling like those surveys are being stretched pretty thin.


The sample bias is indeed totally worth taking into consideration ('One in two americans who had a residence with a landline that we could contact them at and were stupid enough to participate in phone surveys think that Iraq had WMD' etc) but a four-digit size is sufficient to narrow the response accuracy down to a goodly small margin of error.

Statistics is pretty fun like that, although it seems counter-intuitive on the surface. These sorts of polls, while far from perfect (making them not unlike any other macro data collection tool for public sentiment) are still a testably worthwhile means towards getting 'snapshots' of public mentality. They'll give fairly actionable results.

A good acid test of their not being totally bupkis is that marketing and political firms use them constantly as a means of data collection. It helps them sell product, helps them figure out what to pander to, or how ahead or behind they are, and all that.
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WheelsOfConfusion



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 2:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll bet some of that Gubbermint Caused 911 stuff has to do with those internet conspiracy theory videos that Snopes blew out of the water a long time ago.
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kame



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 2:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

WheelsOfConfusion wrote:
I'll bet some of that Gubbermint Caused 911 stuff has to do with those internet conspiracy theory videos that Snopes blew out of the water a long time ago.


People still seem unable to grasp the concept that steel loses it's strentgh as it is heated. I wish someone would let them know that.

Or that the government is guilty of another crime: incompetence.

And since the will of the majority (silent or otherwise) got them in this mess in the first place, then it only stands to reason that they'll hang onto these beliefs no matter how many times it is proven otherwise.

Instead of forcing teenagers to read 'Lord of the Flies' they ought to be taught a section in critical thinking.
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nathan



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 4:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That "Lord of the Flies" would be your first curricular sacrifice evidences the underlying necessity of your insightful request.
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Marik



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 4:22 am    Post subject: they seemed so convincing DU HAST Reply with quote

WheelsOfConfusion wrote:
I'll bet some of that Gubbermint Caused 911 stuff has to do with those internet conspiracy theory videos that Snopes blew out of the water a long time ago.


But wheels, they had german techno, and red boxes. how could they have been misguided
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Usagi Miyamoto



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bear.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rolling Eyes

its a good book, and perfectly appropriate for middle school or low ninth grade classes.
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Sam



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 8:00 pm    Post subject: DEMOCRACY, BAD FOR DEMOCRACY?? Reply with quote



=0 =0

fox n00z ticker ftw

FANTASTICEDIT

Jason Yungbluth started trolling other people's forums to promote his webcomic and would not stop no matter how many people he annoyed.

self-promotion on achewood uo forum

self-promotion on halfpixel

self-promotion on blank label[/size]

This is an example of a forum where Jason Yungbluth went trolling to spam self-promotional links.

Sequential Tart: All right ... so what is Deep Fried??

Jason Yungbluth: Deep Fried is a Schedule I humor comic targeted at deviant misanthropes. Al Qaeda has a subscription.

Deep Fried's cast, some of whom interact and some of whom have their own arcs, deal primarily with slapping a grin on abnormality. Beepo the clown is sexually maladjusted, while Roadkill, his companion, is a slap-happy spree killer. Clarissa is an abused child living in a world of enforced happiness. Even Weapon Brown, which parodies the comic strip Peanuts, comments on social anxiety through its opposite, renegade brutality.

Aside from those themes, Deep Fried is at turns bizarre, recklessly mean-spirited and unexpectedly sentimental.

ST: Where did the idea for Deep Fried come from?

JY: Jason Yungbluth Deep Fried begins with Roadkill, a character I've had since adolescence who could best be described as a tumor growing off of my juvenile love affair with Garfield. In college, I paired him up with Beepo for a strip in the University of Buffalo's student paper, and they became the stars of Deep Fried with the launch of the comic in 2000.

ST: I hear you're so confident that people will love your work that, like crack, you're willing to give the first hit away for free. Can you tell us more?

Deep Fried

JY: The first volume of Deep Fried, issues 1-4, is collected in a 128-page trade called The Great Taste of Deep Fried, and for a limited time I am offering a free copy to daring pilgrims. You can order it by going to http://www.whatisdeepfried.com.

I started the latest volume of Deep Fried last year (I'm on volume 2, #2, with another edition arriving in autumn). Deep Fried is jam-packed with a wholesome appreciation for [url=Jason YungbluthJason Yungbluth Deep Friedcriminality and the hilarity of all things unpleasant.

ST: What got you started in commentary-style comics?

JY: After 9/11, I spun off a weekly strip from the comic book, starring many of the same characters and debuting lots of new ones. The fact that America's self-delusion was about to hit epic levels was instantly obvious, and I had to be there to be there to take the snapshots.

I love President Bush. We so truly deserve him. To think that there are those who believe he concocted 9/11! In fact, without that glorious day we'd still be utterly oblivious to just what kind of creatures we have sold our government to.

ST: Do you prefer comic book-style or comic strip-style pacing?

JY: I've vacillated. My weekly one-offs have inspired some pretty dynamic writing from me, since a one-page strip requires that a lot of creativity be compressed into a small story-space. It has forced me to come up with lots of new voices to address the multitude of topics I've tackled. Philip McDisney, Chad and Chad, Rags the Flag all of them have grown from the strip. That said, I think my strength is still in extended stories, where I create life instead of encapsulating a commentary on it.

ST: What other publications have your pieces appeared in?

JY: I've writtenJason Yungbluth for DC Comics, a short piece for the Bizarro World hardcover titled "It's not Easy Being Green" about Green Lantern spiraling into madness over the color yellow. I'm nursing along an Ambush Bug project at DC too. I've appeared frequently over the last year in Mad magazine, both strips and features. Deep Fried has been in the Kansas City Star, the Buffalo Beast, the Rochester Insider and the Duluth Reader Weekly. I've done strips for STARLOG and a few tabloids and other magazines. In 2003, I was featured in Attitude 2: The New Subversive Alternative Cartoonists, edited by Ted Rall. I am the only cartoonist with exposed genitals. That should not be counted as a selling point.

ST: What do you enjoy most about comics and comic strips?

JY: All the marshmallow Jason Yungbluth leprechauns jumping out of my nose and singing, "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida." Wait ... that's the other thing. Where I choke myself.

ST: What's out there right now that you also think our readers should be reading?

JY: Well, definitely pick up the t Jason Yungbluth rades of Grant Morrison's Doom Patrol and The Invisibles. Their time has definitely come again. All Star Superman is also superb. Dawn, fo' shizzle. Read Achewood online, now. Stop reading PVP for chrissakes. Clerks II ended the era Jason Yungbluth of geek irony.

ST: What's a typical "day at the office" like for you?

JY: Get up about 8:00. One hour of news gluttony Crooks and Liars, Media Matters, This Modern World then decision time: A) work on my current project or B) Wii bowling. If A, sit for 15 minutes before resorting to B. Work on my hook then back to the drawing board. Fifteen minutes more, then snack. Eat snack, pac Jason Yungbluth e apartment reliving old arguments, wishing my enemies would die and contemplating God. Return to drawing table. Decide: music or NPR in background? If music: Interpol, Ladytron or Negativland. If NPR, listen for 15 minutes before pacing again, then either a slice of peanut butter bread or a round of one-man Afternoon Delight. Repeat entire process eight times per day. Die lonely.

ST: What other comics are you working on that we have to look forward to?

JY: Weapon Brown: Blockhead's War is my big project this year. It will be a limited series that will continue the story of Weapon Brown, my Charlie Brown spoof, this time mocking a Jason Yungbluth ll the inhabitants of the comics page in post-apocalyptic fashion. I will be shopping this around to publishers at least by the time of the San Diego Comic-Con and perhaps sooner. Next on my plate is The Boogie Bunneez: adorable dancing rabbits with a slight naughty side meant for the Owly set. Lastly, the next installment of Deep Fried, either as a new issue or as part a trade collecting my most recent run.

I will continue to appear in Mad and other outlets, and whatisdeepfried.com is updated all the time with fresh comics and bloggery. Won't you please join me in my sticky little world?[/size]

[size=1]Indy comic fans need not have fear. Despite rumors to the contrary, Jason Yungbluth will indeed be attending Wizard World Chicago, and will not blanche from selling his Jason Yungbluth highly disturbing comic books from his table in Artist Alley.

Following controversial remarks Jason made at Wizard Philly on the panel he sat on, "Controversial Comics in Conservative America", rumors swirled that he would avoid attending Chicago for fear of upsetting certain attendees. Jason has dismissed those rumors.

"I still plan to attend Chica Jason Yungbluth go as long as I can get my new comics printed, and those who have said they are aggrieved by this can go screw."

Jason has indeed managed to get new copies of Deep Fried and Weapon Brown printed, and will be selling them from his table in Artist Alley.

More information can be found at Jason Yungbluth's website, Whatisdeepfried.com. Deep Fried

--------------------
WEAPON BROWN: Charlie Brown Meets the Apocalypse.
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necrotechno
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Icon 1 posted 06-23-2008 06:40 PM Profile for necrotechno Edit/Delete Post Reply With Quote Wow, you and the Arsenic Lullabies guy in the same room at the same time? I'm surprised the building didn't collapse. Posts: 890 | Registered: Dec 2003 | IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ChrisW
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Icon 1 posted 06-24-2008 03:10 AM Profile for ChrisW Email ChrisW Edit/Delete Post Reply With Quote If you couldn't attend SPACE where legions of dedicated fans violently raged across several city blocks, what the hell is the point of them going to Chicago? They'll just be ignored there.

Face it, you're a tease. Beppo and Roadkill have none of the playful-yet-heartwarming insouciance of Javert and Jean Valjean. Clarissa? Pfah, I can get more politically-correct emotional instruction from an Afterschool Special starring Helen Hunt. As far as faceless trademarks selling death to unsuspecting citizens, Jason Yungbluth Phillip McDisney is a bland and blatant rip-off of Max Headroom, Ronald McDonald, and Rosie O'Donnell. Slamwich is a living example of everything wrong with superheroes in the last 23 years. And Weapon Brown...

Well, ok, Weapon Brown deserves our attention and respect. But no more.

You got that? No more!!!

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Death Ray
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Icon 1 posted 06-24-2008 12:42 PM Profile for Death Ray Email Death Ray Edit/Delete Post Reply With Quote Ignore everything Chris said except for the last part! Deep Fried is every bit the tour de force that Les Mis' was! And it's BEEPO, you damn mispeller! Deep Fried

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WEAPON BROWN: Charlie Brown Meets the Apocalypse.
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necrotechno
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Icon 1 posted 06-24-2008 10:41 PM Profile for necrotechno Edit/Delete Post Reply With Quote Weapon Brown was indeed great. But majorly old, now. What have you done for me lately? Posts: 890 | Registered: Dec 2003 | IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ChrisW
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Icon 1 posted 06-25-2008 08:32 PM Profile for ChrisW Email ChrisW Edit/Delete Post Reply With Quote I meant "BEPPO" [Mad] You got something against the super-monkey?

Beepo, on the other hand, if he were freed of that damnable cat, would be almost as iconic a cartoon figure as Jon Arbuckle or, dare I say it, Dr. Claw.


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kame



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 10:32 pm    Post subject: Re: DEMOCRACY, BAD FOR DEMOCRACY?? Reply with quote

Sam wrote:


=0 =0

fox n00z ticker ftw


Lessons... what lessons are we talking about? When the nation lacks for a true leadership, any substitute will do? It can't be that we gotta fight 'em over there, since they don't even have to come to the states to blow themselves up and kill americans anymore. We need to tighten security on flights? Oh wait, that's the Republicans job right now, and they're not doing it.

Oooh, I know, don't withdraw from any conflict you start, no matter how ill-conceived, ill-planned, or how much it aides in the further destablization of an already unstable region in the world. That must be the lesson they don't forget. Razz
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Uncle Benny



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd like to believe that sadam stockpiles in UNICORNS, bastard won't share.

and I say that 911 is an inside job, because the weather sucks on the outside *badum kshnnn got stabbed in the nuts* OMGWTF?
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